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Aimec:Ez1 Robot

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Hi All

Introducing the AIMEC:EZ1

We are in discussions with DJ to produce a special version of our AIMEC (Artificially Intelligent Mechanical Electronic Companion) robot for the EZ-B, this will be a very advanced robot that will be made available in kit form, which will probably be by the end of this year.

Some history, the first AMI (Applied Machine Intelligence) robot was the AIMEC:3 which is a "hyper-tech" toy and we were very close to licensing this design to a large US toy manufacturer, but the deal fell through. Our most advanced robot is the AIMEC:4 which is still in development, this robot has advanced voice recognition (Dragon 11), face recognition and eye tracking and object recognition the robot has an advanced Ai core and is capable of self learning. When we came across the fantastic EZ-B system that the genius DJ Sures produced we immediately thought that it would be really cool to make a EZ-B version and this is what we are currently developing the AIMEC:EZ1. This robot is the development platform for a ground breaking robotics kit that we plan to sell to the general public, for the first time a highly advanced robot will be available (in various versions) at a price that hobbyists would be able to afford.

I have been building robots for over 30 years and some of my designs are recorded on Cybernetic Zoo

http://cyberneticzoo.com/?p=2280

http://cyberneticzoo.com/?p=3984

On our team we have the brilliant model maker (and engineer) Steve Cole (Articole Studios) http://www.articolestudios.co.uk/ who is also a member of this forum @ukrobotman, with Alex Cole on 3D design and (the incredibly talented) Mike Hodgson on software development. I am doing mechanical, electronics and sensor designs and firmware development for support PIC microcontrollers that enhance the EZ-B boards operation over the I2C bus.

We are all looking forward to working closely with DJ and his team in the new future!


Tony

--
Conceptioneering Ltd - Inventors of the Award Winning Cube World
To see Product Innovation - visit our website at www.conceptioneering.co.uk
To see Robotic Innovation - visit our website at www.appliedmachineintelligence.co.uk

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United Kingdom
#152  
Thanks Pat, you finding the Bosch actuators (on ebay) for me helped a lot! Because I am now buying them in volume, I have got the unit price down to just over £4 which is incredible for such a powerful worm driven motor drive with integral feedback pot.

Tony
#153  
Toy maker can you post a link and description , I would like to check them out. Thanks.
United Kingdom
#154  
Josh, they will not ship them outside the UK, thats why I have personally sent some out to Pat, Mel, Dave and Rex. I can spare a couple for you if you want to try them out?

Tony
#155  
These are sweet little motors. I wish I could buy them here in the US but thanks to Tony I have a few. Thanks again Tony!

I love the control boards. I with you had them complete and for sale! *cool*
#157  
Oh nice! Will be eagerly anticipating this!
PRO
USA
#158  
Tony,
I like the progress on your AIMEC EZB robot development. The new arm looks fantastic.
I am currently building arms for my robot Captain Ann Droid. I also bought a female mannequin for a new project, but it needs heavy duty shoulder servos. I like large robots.
Do you have a projected date when the AIMEC EZ2 robot might be available?
Looking forward to the new EZB4 and your AIMEC EZ@ robot!
Thank you,
Steve S
United Kingdom
#159  
Hi Steve

Unfortunately, in now looks like we will not be entering into the hobby robot market, the fact is there does not seem to be enough demand to warrant setting up the huge infrastructure required. The other big problem is that very few people (in the hobby market) would want to spend this amount of money even on a very advanced robot like the EZ:2. Demographics are also a part of this equation, where most of our business would come from the US, but transit costs for a large 4 foot tall robot from the UK are going to be huge, we estimate it could be up to a third of the cost of the actual robot itself! I have recently noticed others on the forum are now going to offer custom large robots but being US based they will have the advantage of much lower delivery costs, and quite frankly there is not enough room for 2 players in this very limited market so this makes our current decision seem even more like being the right thing to do.

So our plans now are to sell the EZ:2 robot into education sectors across the World and maybe selling some pre-built EZ:2 robots through distributors like Robot Shop, Active Robots etc.

The others forum members will probably make great large size custom robots but I guess they will not be able to offer the EZ:2 features like true face and object recognition together with a real self-learning Ai (a product of 6 years work), and low cost precision worm based smart servos. Anyway I wish them all the luck with their endeavor and they should certainly find a very nice niche business if they stay with the EZ-B.

I have made some great friends here on the EZ-B forum and will always continue to help with things where I can and will also still keep you all updated with the cool things that we are doing with the EZ:2 robot if there is still interest in the project. But I don't want to get your hopes up that there will be a fully featured kit robot available later this year because this is now unlikely.

Also Steve, I can send you some Bosch motor drives if you want to give them a try, let me know.

Tony
#160  
@Toymaker

Have you considered splitting off the higher margin software and still providing it to the hobby market without the hardware? I for one would be very interested in the mentioned recognition features (particularly if there was a way to plug them into ARC without writing my whole robot interface with SDK's), and would happily pay for them.

I agree with your demographic analysis for the hardware. I would probably not have been in the market for your robot kit even if the shipping cost was not so high. I am more interested in making from assorted bits and parts than putting together from a kit. I think there probably is a kit market, but I would imagine it is fairly limited in size.

Alan
United Kingdom
#161  
That is some sad news to read. I hope you do keep us all updated with the developments of the EZ:2 despite it not being available though. I for one have been following it with great interest.

I guess I may be at an advantage being UK based, if nothing else I may be lucky enough to see the EZ:2 in the "flesh" one day (you are aware than once it is complete I will be making that drive across the country to see it in action right? :))
#162  
Tony, we still Love you. And , we understand perfectly. Too Bad.

But, what about the software? It looked promising. In fact, it was the MOST promising part of the robot. A robot is simply NOTHING without the software.

Let us know.

Thanks,
PRO
USA
#163  
Tony,
I agree with Rich, that is really sad news, but I understand your logic.
Recently I purchased a "DR. WHO" Cyborg helmet on Ebay, sent from the U.K.. I realized the shipping issue, but it was something I wanted. Maybe not everyone will understand.
That being said, it is a shame that we will not have such a great product available.
I am still interested in the advanced features you were incorporating into the AIMEC EZ Robot and willing to buy them.
The amazing A.I., face and object recognition, smart servo controller, head control module, the heavy duty AIMEC arm, and the I.R. control module. Maybe you could still offer them.
Thank you for honesty and the way you have interacted with the community, first class.
Please keep us informed with your outstanding work and if AIMEC EZ Robot makes it to the "The Robot Shop", still might be interested.
Thank You,
Steve S
#164  
Crap Tony. This sucks. To bad the shipping costs will keeping you from offering your robot to us over the big pond. I'm sure your version of the "big robot kit" would have kicked the Competition's ass all over the world.

I'm honored I was able to meet you here on line and get to watch your obvious genius in robotic control. Seeing your robot evolve has been fascinating. Like looking into the future. I don't know how what you have done can be competed with. I truly hope you continue to visit our forum and be a part of out little family. ;)

Good luck in your adventure my friend!

Dave Schulpius
United Kingdom
#165  
Thetechguru, I will give that some thought.

Rich, You will always be welcome to come down to our design studio, we are on the Ashdown Forest which is what 1000 acre wood was based on in "Winnie the Pooh" we are actually 2 miles from Pooh Sticks Bridge which actually exists! The decision is purely commercial, I have licensed 58 inventions/products in the last 12 years some selling in multi-millions so I have a keen eye on the commercial aspects of retailing products, I just feel now that its just not time for an advanced large robot kit, there is just not a viable market out there yet. A robot as highly advanced as the EZ:2 should do very well in the Education sectors especially as it has features that are only found on very expensive robots like the four hundred thousand dollar PR2 robot, yet the EZ:2 will be a fraction of this cost.

Dave, Mel thanks for the kind words. I will keep posting bits and pieces here and am always available in you need any tech help.

Steve, I will email you regarding the Bosh motor drive, you can have some free of charge for your robots shoulders. Is this the Cyberman helmet that you got off ebay?

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Tony
United Kingdom
#166  
For those of you using the Bosh motor drives, here is another jpeg on how 2 motor drive servos can be mechanically interconnected.

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The large hub allows for a really strong mechanical connection to the 6mm spindle and makes the higher servo very solid and stable.

Tony
PRO
USA
#167  
Nice looking work Tony.
It looks like a very substantial connection for stability. I know you talked about the brackets before, are the spindles custom made?
Yes, your DR.WHO helmet looks similar to mine.
Thank you for sharing,
Steve S
#168  
Amazing concern for your fellow robot friends. I'll be using this soon.

Glad your going to stay around Tony.

Have you considered giving your customers living overseas the option of paying the high shipping costs if they wish? Not sure what your business model is but instead of shipping a fully assembled large robot perhaps you could sell a "kit" that's packed in pieces and shipped in smaller, light and compact shipping materials. As you know after shipping to me and a few others here there are many shipping options available. Some of them are more affordable then others. Also large shipping companies like Bax Global, USP, DHL and others give better rates if you have a business relationship with them. Also like mentioned above I really think there would be a large demand worldwide for just parts of your robot like the arms, Smart servo boards, face recognition, exc.

Just some ideas because I'd hate to see you limit your amazing technologically and craftsmanship to just your area. You'd be doing yourself and the rest of the world a disservice.
United Kingdom
#169  
To keep my EZ:1 Robot thread complete up to date, I am posting the Object Recognition video.

I know some of the forum members are interested in the EZ:1 and EZ:2 development, so here is an update. I have nearly finished developing 2 new (low cost) robotic ranger/sensor systems. The first is a fixed ultrasonic ranger system that completely and accurately covers the complete front 2.5m view of the robot and can even detect things like thin table legs etc. We are using ultrasonic transducers that are used in automobiles reversing systems which makes the new ultrasonic system almost invisible to the onlooker as they are the same colour as the robots body. The second sensor I call "Sense Field", with this via a special internal antenna the robot can detect almost any object that moves into a 1.5m radius at 360 degrees (so completely surrounding the robot with a sense field). This sensor will also detect any human/animal approaching from any angle and currently has 3 sense ranges being Far, Midway and Close.

I will be putting a video up of the systems working in the next couple of weeks.

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#170  
Video is outstanding, you are very good robot builder.

:):):):)
j
PRO
USA
#171  
Toymaker,
An ultrasonic system that covers over 8 ' front view ? "ultrasonic ranger system".
A second sensor that covers almost 5' radius for 360 degrees coverage? and also knows distance?
So much to look forward to!
EZB4 and AIMEC EZ Robot!
Again, another want on my radar. I can,t wait!
The upcoming video is something else that I am looking forward to.
Thank you for sharing updates.
Steve S